An Australian friend grew up in an incredibly Anglophile household, to the extent that each Christmas her mother would crank up the air conditioning to max power and they would sit around shivering in sweaters, fire crackling away in the hearth and tuck into the full Christmas roast turkey dinner whilst outside the rest of Sydney barbequed in their bikinis.
This always springs to mind on a roasting hot Summer’s day whilst I am sweating at the hob stirring bubbling pots of gravy and turning roast potatoes. I think to myself that surely, I am doing something wrong and I don’t mean the lack of air conditioning in the house.
So, this Sunday much to my family’s initial scepticism we went for ‘roast with salad’ and ate outside in the glorious sunshine (albeit under a big umbrella as our lily-white English skin would have roasted in seconds).
The chicken was flattened (by removing the breastbone with kitchen shears) so that it roasted more quickly and it sat on a lovely bed of garlic, lemon and herbs so it smelt (and tasted) amazing. Some fresh bread from the bread maker, cold butter, some home-made aioli and a quick salad with a French dressing – it was the lunch of kings.
Arguments over who likes peppers but not cucumber etc were solved by making the salad in sections and the roast potatoes weren’t even missed as everyone made themselves ridiculously thick doorstep sandwiches. Our conclusion – roasts done right aren’t just for winter.